Studies have shown that much of the wealth in the United States has gone into the pockets of the top 0.1%. That includes a swath of billionaires whose net worth has grown by $1.8 trillion since the pandemic began, according to Kurt Andersen’s “Evil Geniuses.”
In 2020, former Secretary of Labor Robert B. Reich said, “America today has socialism for the rich and hardline capitalism for the rest of us.” This happens when government intervention does more to stimulate the stock market than the real economy.
Between 1980 and 2019, the share of the country’s total wealth going to the top 1% more than doubled while the incomes of the bottom 90% barely increased, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Poor investment in the real economy has limited opportunities and income gains for the poor and middle class
Large corporations are becoming increasingly monopolistic in today’s era of low interest rates. They use their inflated stock prices and stockpiled cash to buy new companies and suck up all the talent, innovation and resources.
We need to invest in human infrastructure that improves productivity and creates good jobs. We can have democracy, or we can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few. We have to choose.
Richard A. Weiherer